Design Smart: Achieving High Quality Design Through Collaborative Processes

Mr Omar Barragan, Manager of Urban Design at Brisbane City Council will be attending this year’s International Urban Design Conference, discussing “Design smart: achieving high quality design through collaborative processes”.

As Brisbane grows as a New World City, the aim is to achieve a responsive subtropical design that speaks on behalf of the city – design that demonstrates the best elements of living in Subtropical Brisbane.

Omar Barragan

Brisbane needs exemplary projects that respond to an embrace our subtropical climate and showcase our city’s urban character and outdoor lifestyle. To achieve this strategic goal Brisbane City Council has created a new initiative that seeks ways to partner with the development industry and key stakeholders.

The Design SMART service is intended to be a pre-lodgement service from the initiation/inception phase of significant development projects. Council officers attend multiple pre-lodgment meetings and work with applicants to review the design opportunities and constraints of a site and to discuss how these might inform the development of the concept design for the site.

There are two key of differences in this process that set apart Brisbane’s approach to other cities. The first is the high level policy guidance provided by the recently adopted document, ‘ New World City Design Guide: Buildings that Breathe’. This forward thinking guide illustrates how residential and commercial buildings in the city centre, mixed use inner city, transport corridors and principal regional activity centres should be designed to respond to our subtropical climate and improve sustainability. This gives clarity to the industry on the expected three dimensional built outcomes for the city.

The second is the direct involvement from the initial stages of the city’s Independent Design Advisory Panel (IDAP). This panel provides Council with independent advice on design, quality, sustainability and appropriateness of strategies and projects of importance to Brisbane’s future growth. In this way, Design SMART facilitates direct feedback from industry-based professionals, real world advice, to developers from early stages of the design process.

The 10th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 November 2017. 

Secure your seat and register today!

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Translating Policy to Place: Planning High Quality Precincts in the World’s Most Liveable City

The 10th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 November 2017.

Emily Mottram, Director of Urban Renewal at Victorian Planning Authority is a keynote speaker at this year’s Conference, presenting “Translating policy to place – planning high quality precincts in the world’s most liveable city”.

Emily Mottram

Melbourne trades on its legacy of good planning by the Victorians and its title of the world’s most liveable city. It is also experiencing record breaking population growth, economic restructuring and climate change. Infrastructure investment is reshaping and reframing the city as we know it.

There is a strong policy basis set out through Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 to focus 70% of residential growth into established areas. The Victorian Planning Authority is working in precincts across Melbourne to translate this policy intent into high quality place based outcomes. A key challenge is to achieve exemplary contextual design to ensure we have a social licence to act.

This presentation will use a series of case studies from inner and middle Melbourne to reflect upon the opportunities and evolving tools for precinct renewal.

This year the International Urban Design Conference offers optional tours available on Wednesday 15 November. These will include visiting two of the precincts that have been designed and built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast in April 2018.

Find out more here.

Shaping Australian Cities: Driving Global Competitiveness Through Strategy and Design

 

Mr James Tuma, National Director of Urbis is a Keynote Speaker at the 2017 International Urban Design Conference.

This year, James will be presenting “Shaping Australian cities: driving global competitiveness through strategy and design”.

What makes a city globally competitive? Where do Australian cities sit in the global context? How should we shape them?

Cities are human kind’s greatest achievement and challenge. Predictions indicate that by 2050 well over half of the world’s 5 billion people will live in cities. Investment in cities and real estate worldwide is estimated to more than double from 2012 to 2020. Cumulatively, cities globally represent the greatest opportunity to enact and effect change at a planetary scale.

This body of work considers the emerging language and strengths of cities and identifies ten strategic opportunities for Australian cities to address when it comes to their design and place in the world. This guidance is by no means exhaustive or definitive, however it aims to provide the foundation stones of creating a compelling national conversation about our shared urban future.

James Tuma

About James

James is a visionary urban designer with a broad skills palette.  He is qualified in urban design, built environments and landscape architecture – disciplines he draws on while coordinating projects, master planning and structure planning, as well as advising on design codes, public realm strategies and public space implementation.

Since joining Urbis in 2005, he has worked on significant national and international integrated developments and master planning projects in Australia and Europe – from planning for new communities and townships to designing town centres and public spaces.

About the Conference

The 10th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 November 2017. 

This conference is an opportunity for design professionals to exchange ideas and experiences, to be creative and visionary and to contribute to redesigning our urban futures.

Find out more here.

 

Design Competitions and the “Design Dividend” in Central Sydney

Good design delivers a variety of public benefits. The so-called “design dividend” links these benefits to positive financial uplift for property interests resulting from superior design. But what happens when competitive design processes enter the picture?

200 George Street, Sydney (Developer: Mirvac). Resulting from a design excellence competition won by architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, this commercial project was completed in 2016. Its advanced sustainable design features has seen it secure high environmental ratings: 6 star Green Star – Office Design, 6 star Green Star – Office As Built; 5 star NABERS Energy and 4 star NABERS Water.

An Australian Research Council-funded project led by researchers from UNSW Sydney and the University of Canberra is examining the City of Sydney Council’s Competitive Design Policy. This policy uniquely requires major private projects in Sydney’s CBD to undergo a design procurement process based on jury-based evaluation of alternative designs. A discretionary floor-space bonus becomes available for achieving “Design Excellence” via this route.

With this policy now in operation for 15 years, roughly 40 major completed or approved projects in Sydney’s CBD have successfully come through a competitive design process. This provides a unique opportunity to examine the potential of good design – and, particularly, competitive design – to lift the bar for both public and private interests. To arrive at an overall assessment of the value-add from these arrangements, the team’s research draws from Council records, interviews with built environment professionals including developers, architects and planners, fieldwork, and examination of industry judgements of the outcomes.

Although the team echoes previously identified difficulties in defining and quantifying the benefits of design excellence, there is evidence to largely substantiate a consensus in perception that Sydney’s competitive design policy has generated significant public and private benefits in aesthetic, functional, design and sustainability terms. Notably, the policy has diversified and elevated the field of architectural firms participating in designing Central Sydney, and has established common ground for Council staff, design experts and developers to work collaboratively towards better outcomes.

Securing design excellence through competition emerges as an innovative regulatory approach to help ‘bridge the gap’ between public and private interests in the design and development of the city.

For more information on this ongoing research project, visit the team’s UNSW Built Environment research page.

Authors: Professor Robert Freestone (UNSW), Ms Sarah Baker (UNSW), Dr Gethin Davison (UNSW), and Dr Richard Hu (UC)

 

Cities Performance Leaves Way Too Much Data Off The Table

If we can’t manage what we don’t measure, then crucial gaps in the indicators proposed for the federal government’s National Cities Performance Framework plunge its effectiveness into doubt as a tool for improving the resilience and sustainability of our cities and the people that live and work in them.

The Interim report, released this week, outlines the framework and data-driven indicators that will be made available as a digital dashboard for the public and others to assess cities across economic, social and environmental aspects.

city-performance
Photo: article supplied

It aims to show how well cities are performing against the Smart City policy priorities of jobs and skills; infrastructure and investment; liveability and sustainability; innovation and digital; governance, planning and regulation; and housing.

These have been converted into 41 proposed indicators that will be being applied to 21 of Australia’s largest cities and also Western Sydney.

Gaps in the architecture

However, even the Property Council of Australia, which has hailed it as “vital policy architecture” has noted that there are some gaps in the data it proposed to deliver.

A proposed indicator that would reveal the ratio of population growth to dwellings constructed has not been included “due to lack of data”.

“We believe there is one area of potential improvement for the Interim Framework and that relates to housing affordability and the ability to properly assess housing supply,” Ken Morrison PCA chief executive said.

“The big gap is the lack of data on housing supply which is a critical part of the housing affordability equation, and we again call on the Turnbull Government to reinstate the National Housing Supply Council to plug this gap.”

Ironically, news broke this week that 2016 Census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows there are around one million empty dwellings in Australia, and that in Sydney close to one in five dwellings are empty. Sounds like available data to us.

And here’s another one – while the data will include air quality in terms of particulates in the air, and overall carbon emissions, a proposed indicator on carbon emissions from specific sectors was also left out due to… lack of available data.

The Fifth Estate is seeing something of a pattern there that looks scarily like the Trump approach. Don’t measure it, don’t monitor it and then you can wilfully refuse to manage it.

Mr Morrison said that the framework brings “some rigour” to the question of whether our “big and small cities are successful or not”.

“What gets measured gets done – and this framework will assist policy makers in our big cities as well as our smaller cities and regional centres.”

Policy makers it may not assist terribly well are those concerned about vulnerability to natural disasters.

This article was originally published by The Fifth Estate.

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